Illinois

ILLINOIS’ ONLY HOPE MAY BE BANKRUPTCY

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A recent article by Mark Glennon of Wirepoints states that turning Illinois around is vital to the national economy. Illinois is a drag on the national economy, and the state’s GDP has lagged the nation’s significantly for ten years. According to Glennon, “A federal bailout is happening automatically, at least in a small sense, in the form of food stamps, housing assistance, Medicaid and similar programs. A fresh start for Illinois would reduce its federal tab for those costs and grow Illinois’ tax base for federal revenue.”

For a state to formally go bankrupt, the U. S. Congress would have to pass legislation enabling that. In Illinois’ case, Glennon thinks Congress would.

David Skeel, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania who also serves on Puerto Rico’s oversight board wrote that the “constitutionality of bankruptcy-for-states is beyond serious dispute.”

Congress would only be offering states the option of using bankruptcy, just as it has already done for municipalities; nothing would be forced on states.

As for the left’s fear that the power of bankruptcy would reduce pension payments, the Bankruptcy Code would not be expanded “as is” to states. Changes would be made on which all sides could find common ground. For example, a bankrupt government can opt to keep or renegotiate whatever labor contracts it has.

As for bondholders, says Glennon, one should “shed no tears for existing bondholders. They took the risk that bankruptcy law could be changed to impact them.”

“It’s becoming clear that there is no long-term alternative,” said Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America (TUA). “As Glennon points out, “This isn’t about whether bankruptcy is a good option. It’s about whether it’s the only option.”

“Illinois is functionally bankrupt,” said Tobin, “and the cause is runaway government employee pensions with unfunded liabilities so huge that it is mathematically impossible for the state and its municipalities to tax their way out of this financial black hole.”

“Illinois is the nation’s extreme outlier when it comes to pension shortfalls. The state has a $241 billion shortfall in its five state-run pension funds. Illinois’ pension shortfalls equal 28 percent of the state’s GDP. Illinois’ death spiral gets worse and worse, and bankruptcy for the state looks more and more desirable.”

“While we’re waiting for this drastic measure, the state of Illinois can help its citizens by passing a law to enable all local governments to declare bankruptcy. It also should cut state taxes to stimulate its sluggish economy.”

Pro-Income Tax Increase AARP Event Flops

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Oak Park-The “Illinois Tax Solutions Forum” presented by AARP, which is staunchly supporting the graduated income tax increase amendment, was a complete flop.

“Very few people were there,” said Val Zimnicki, Taxpayers United of America (TUA) Director of Outreach. “Even with the Full-Page ad in the Chicago Sun Times, I counted only 33 people.”  

“I am glad the event flopped,” said Jim Tobin, TUA President. “Not only did AARP present the debate, they also actively participated in it and sided against taxpayers. The fact that tax thieves are starting to peddle propaganda so early indicates their desperation.”  

“Two years ago, Illinois passed a $5 billion dollar income tax increase that went exclusively to paying lavish government pensions. Now Springfield, led by Governor Pritzker is coming back for more. Illinoisans will have the opportunity on Tuesday November 3, 2020 to tell these greedy politicians that enough is enough.”

INCREASING CLASS SIZE KEY TO SOLVING CPS FISCAL WOES

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CHICAGO—The Chicago Board of Education can help homeowners avoid another massive property tax increase by shedding thousands of teachers, according to the president of one of the country’s largest taxpayer organizations.

“Laying-off a few thousand teachers and increasing class size would greatly help balance the books,” said Jim Tobin, President of Taxpayers United of America (TUA).

For the 2018-2019 school year, CPS reported 37,375 staff positions including 21,334 teachers and 511 principals.

“Private schools have traditionally had larger class sizes than government schools, and they have done a much better job of educating their students,” said Tobin. “The teachers’ union wants to decrease class size in order to make more teaching positions necessary. It’s a power grab, and the added teachers will not increase student achievement.”

“In addition to larger class sizes, overpaid physical education teachers should be among the first to go. Gym, art and music classes should be made optional, so that only those students with the necessary talent can take advantage of them.”

“Study after study has established that there is no appreciable correlation between class size and academic achievement. For example, in 2018 the Campbell Collaboration, a Norwegian research group reviewed 127 studies on class size. Their research shows that small class sizes had little to no improvement to student performance.”

“The class-size myth is perpetuated by the union bosses and their legislative cronies to increase the number of union jobs for both teachers and laborers. It is a scam to extract even more taxpayer wealth from the pockets of the middle class,” said Tobin.

“Chicago homeowners can’t afford another property tax increase in order to inflate teacher-union membership. It’s time to lay-off several thousand teachers and increase class size. This would be a significant step toward stabilizing city and CPS finances.”

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Taxpayers United Of America: (TUA). is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(4) taxpayer advocacy group. Founded June 27, 1976 in Chicago, Illinois by activist and economist Jim Tobin, TUA works on behalf of taxpayers to reduce local, state, and federal taxes. In the past forty years, TUA has saved taxpayers more than $200 billion n taxes and has become one of the largest taxpayer organizations in America. Check All posts. s.

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